With so many big brands asking “how do we do something that is truly magical, that surprises our audience, that is cutting-edge?” projecting mapping is having its moment like no other single technological advancement in the event industry before, bringing brands, messages, video, animation or virtual reality content to life in a way that is unsurpassed.

Shows which once relied on 2D elements such as LED screens or flat projection can be propelled into the realms of immersive experiences, wrapping audiences in an interactive visual canvas and offering a new route for creating impactful and energetic presentations.

3D architectural elements, products or shapes can be ‘virtually painted’ and made to look like they are changing in front of your very eyes.

Projection mapping occupies the space of wonderment and awe. It is where creativity and technology combine to glorious effect. Audiences are captivated and videos go viral overnight.

“A well thought out and executed projection event inspires audiences. It brings real impact and surprising depth to messaging.” John Montague, Production Director, FIX8Group – specialists in projection mapping and technical event production.

Which is why so many of the industry’s most progressive and inventive producers, designers, event and communications teams are embracing the technology that underpins this creative output.

Clients have turned to projection mapping in many different ways over the last few years, providing amazing creative opportunities for technical specialists such as FIX8Group. Recent examples range from fairly ‘standard’ architectural building mapping, shown below for the launch of the XBOX launch in Berlin, to mapping rhomboids within a converted ice-rink in order to create a 3D vision for a television broadcast and creating an ever-changing auditorium environment in a conference setting by designing and projection mapping a series of 3D shapes hung above an audience. FIX8Group bring a keen and experienced eye to these specialisations and a prime motivation for the company is in developing new skills to manage and execute these new challenges.

Linking in new technology such as Infra-Red cameras, Hololens, Blacktrax (to name but a few) can create experiences which really stand out from traditional corporate messaging and communications, where pieces of set and LED screens can move and elements seemingly appear out of nowhere. Such technological wow-factors, previously unachievable without Olympic sized budgets and extremely long lead times, are very much today’s reality.

As those who have been involved in projection mapping know all too well, bringing this new technology into a new area, and making sure it’s many pitfalls are managed requires specialist knowledge. It’s vital to understand the whole picture and to know how each individual element and technical component needs to be developed and will affect each other.

Delivering on time and to budget involves understanding the creative workflow from light bulb moment, to software choice, to rendering process and codecs through to onsite positioning – both of projectors and of audience.

John Montague expands: “Content development for mapping projects soon moves beyond the usual 2D PowerPoint or Keynote canvas and if not fully understood this can start to incur large costs in previously simple areas such as rendering and content wrangling onsite. We are always very careful to consult and clarify these elements prior to work taking place. There is nothing worse than having that great idea, developing it, expending energy and time on being able to bring it halfway to fruition and then having to shelve the whole project due to technicalities which were not made clear before.”

Projection mapping does not need to be a “Dark Art”, but it is vital that the technical requirements and content development needs are clear at all times. With care and sensible management, the full potential of this exciting and cutting-edge technological advancement can be maximised to its fullest and ever challenging creative briefs can be realised.

To find out more about the technology underpinning projection mapping or for advice on workflows and costs, contact John Montague at jm@fix8group.com or contact one of the team on 01614808881.

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.